I have been enthusiastically collecting river stones since I got to Washington, as well as for years before. I remember the pebble beach on Hydra that my sister Marian and I went nuts poring over, picking up, putting down, ultimately bringing a few multi-colored stones home to remember that place. There's a small shelf over the sink in my bathroom with stones from a number of special places and trips. My friend, show-partner, and fellow stone nut Melissa Bridgman more recently turned me on to both heart shaped and striped stones. She gave me one of each in a hard place last year, and they have been talismans for me since. She says stones with an unbroken stripe around them bring good luck. Both are in profusion here in Washington. I have never seen so many heart shaped stones in my life.
Yesterday Jude took me to a national forest with a gorgeous boat ramp/pebble beach at the confluence of two small rivers. I was charmed and brought home a handful of stones, and he later wrote a poem about it. You can read the full poem on his tumblr site. Melissa has sketched lovely river stones in her journal and made pottery in their image, but the poem gave me a new twist to use instead of just copying her idea. I've had a full day of printmaking but wanted to do something fun for myself, as well as celebrate this beautiful poem.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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